國立故宮博物院 National Palace Museum (New window)  
Title: Selections
Five-character Regulated Verse (New window)

Five-character Regulated Verse

Wen Zhengming (1470-1559), Ming dynasty
Hanging scroll, ink on paper, 191 x 72.2 cm

Wen Zhengming (original name Bi; style name Zhengming; self-styled sobriquet Hengshan) was a native of Suzhou. In his youth he studied literature under Wu Kuan (1435-1504), calligraphy from Li Yingzhen (1431-1493), and painting under Shen Zhou (1427-1509), sitting for the civil service exams ten times but never passing. He was later recommended as Hanlin Academician-in-Waiting but resigned less than five years later, returning to live in reclusion.

Wen Zhengming excelled at both painting and calligraphy, gifted in all the scripts. In his middle years, Wen mostly worked in Wang Xizhi's style, but the large running script of his later years turned to Huang Tingjian's style. The style here is unbridled, having originally been a poem he had inscribed on a painting entitled "Streams and Mountains Before Snow" he did for someone.

Su Shi's Verse on West Lake (New window)

Su Shi's Verse on West Lake

Zhao Mengfu (1254-1322), Yuan dynasty
Handscroll, ink on paper, 33.8 x 133.8 cm

Zhao Mengfu (style name Zi'ang) was a native of Wuxing. A tenth-generation descendant of Emperor Taizu's son, Zhao Defang, he went into reclusion at the fall of the Song dynasty. In 1286, though, he answered the following Yuan court's call and became an official. Excellent at painting and calligraphy, he advocated revivalism and had a major influence on later generations.

In calligraphy, Zhao Mengfu first studied the style of Song Gaozong, but after his middle years followed the small regular script of Zhong You and the semi-cursive one of the Two Wangs and Li Yong with Su Shi's and Mi Fu's brushwork, creating a beautiful, untrammeled manner. The running script here transcribes Su Shi's poetry, an aura of delicate beauty in the steady and mature brushwork making this a late masterpiece of 1320.

Painting and Calligraphy Pair (New window)

Painting and Calligraphy Pair

Lu Zhi (1496-1576) and Cai Yu (ca. 1470-1541), Ming dynasty
Album leaf, ink (and colors) on paper, 26.7 x 30.2 cm

This album consists of ten poems by Cai Yu for Chen Qizhi, the frontispiece being written by Xu Chu in 1538 with paintings added by Lu Zhi in the third month of the following year. Cai Yu (style name Jiukui, sobriquet Linwu shanren) was as famous as Wen Zhengming (1470-1559). His running and regular script calligraphy was vigorous and featured fully structured forms, with Wang Chong studying under him for three years.

The composition of Lu Zhi's painting here is ingenious and refined with a pure and beautiful manner. This is a work from his middle years.